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Hotel Highlights

  • Remote setting
  • Castaway luxe
  • Soothing spa

Overview

Romantic, rugged and remote, Six Senses Zighy Bay hotel in Oman is like nowhere you've seen before: backed by barren mountains and among the opal blue waters of the Musandam's fjords. James Bond wannabes, this is your dream come true. Where else in the word can you choose to arrive by speedboat, 4x4 or paraglider before slipping into a Frankincense-laced bath with a cocktail?

Smith Extra

Here's what you get for booking Six Senses Zighy Bay with us:

A Smith hotel voucher for £25/$40/€30

Facilities

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Six Senses Zighy Bay – Oman – Oman

Need To Know

Rooms

82, including 20 suites, private villas and a presidential retreat.

Check–out

12 noon (flexible, subject to availability and a 50 per cent charge up to 6pm); earliest check-in, 2pm. Guests arriving early or leaving late are welcome to use all the resort's facilities, including the spa and a day-use villa for freshening up.

Also

'Minibar' doesn't do it justice: your room is kitted out with a mini wine cellar, half-litre bottles of premium spirits, fruit juices, beers and soft drinks, as well as an array of snack-happy treats.

At the hotel

Beach with watersports and dive centre; spa with hammam, sauna and gym; personal training; tennis courts; library of books, CDs and DVDs; free WiFi throughout. In rooms: flatscreen TV, DVD player, pre-loaded iPod and dock; well-stocked minibar and wine chiller, free water, espresso machine, kettle, slippers and bathrobes, alfresco showers, in-room treatments.

Our favourite rooms

Laid out like a traditional Omani village, individual stone-walled dwellings house standalone villas and suites. Every villa has a private plunge pool with sunloungers, a terrace with dining area, private sand 'garden' and shady outdoor majlis (seating area) and an outdoor shower. Pick of the bunch are the sunrise-facing beachfront villas, with uninterrupted sea views and only a few sandy footsteps between you and the water. Add 'Spa' to your room name and you'll get a private treatment room; add 'Suite', and the bedroom and living room are separate, with two bathrooms and two outdoor showers. Add 'Zighy', and you're going up in the world: these duplex villas have an extra bedroom and living space on the upper floor – Zighy Pool Villa Suites also have dining rooms and balconies. For total indulgence, the Retreats are huge two-bedroom villas on two floors, with large pools, and a fitted kitchen leading onto a small third bedroom for a butler or nanny.

Poolside

The freeform infinity-edged pool winds down towards the sea, with plenty of palm-shaded loungers (and the occasional mountain goat) reflected in its surface. Staff are at your beck and call for snacks, drinks and cooling sorbets. There's also a saltwater swimming pool with Roman steps and a swim-round island.

Packing tips

Loose, long linens; Bond girl bikinis; sturdier swimwear for watersports; things containing Lycra (for mountain biking, canyoning, rock climbing, and overeating).

Also

Most public areas are wheelchair accessible (although paths between are sand and stone); the spacious one-bedroom villas are all on one level and best suited to the elderly or less mobile.

Children

Welcome. Under-6s stay free in parents' rooms; extra beds for kids aged 7–12 cost US$35 a night (US$100 for over-12s); there are fantastic children’s menus, activities galore and babysitting is available from US$15 an hour.

Read more

Eco‐friendly

Six Senses is committed to sustainability, and has an admirable policy of supporting the community by working with local charities and schools. It has been involved in the creation of a protected marine area, to raise awareness of the Musandam peninsula's unique eco-system. There's an organic kitchen garden onsite, and, best of all, it eschews the import of trendy H2Os, makes its own mineral water with a crystal plant, and donates 1 rial from each sale to its social responsibility fund.

Food & Drink

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Six Senses Zighy Bay – Oman – Oman

Hotel Restaurant

The Spice Market offers an Ottolenghi-esque feast of organic Arabic dishes and regional specialities. Try mograbieh bil lamh (grilled beef tenderloin served on giant couscous scented with caraway powder), samak mahalli (a local fish fillet marinated in Arabic spices and served with tarator, a garlicky tahini sauce) or simar albahar mushakal (roasted seafood, including lobster and prawns). More relaxed, and with squishy settees on a breezy veranda overlooking the pool, the Summer House is all about laid-back grills, pasta, sandwiches and salads, plus a weekly-changing specials menu; it's no slouch on the food front, with smoked buffalo mozarella, Wagyu beef burgers, tuna tartar and home-made sorbets making regular appearances. On Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights, book ahead for a table 293m above sea level at Sense on the Edge, Zighy Bay's mountaintop fine-dining showcase. Expect twice-cooked deliciousness presented three ways, with interesting reductions and lashings of jus. In season, the weekly Shua Shack barbecue offers Bedouin-style dining on the beach, with sand-pit oven-baked lamb, Arabic mezze and more served under a barasti shelter.

Hotel Bar

The refreshingly unsceney Zighy Bar mixes signature mocktails, lassies, smoothies, home-made lemonades and cocktails (date martinis, tamarind margaritas) as well being stocked with a globetrotter's guide to worldwide spirits, from Lebanese arack to single-malt whisky. There's also the subterranean Wine Cellar, a chef's table set-up for two to eight people who fancy a serious tasting sessions.

Last orders

Drinks are poured until midnight at Zighy Bar; the Summer House opens for lunch 12 noon until 5pm; and for dinner, 7pm–11pm. Breakfast is served in the Spice Market, 7.30am–11am, which is also open for dinner 7pm–10.30pm.

Room service

There's a round-the-clock menu of Arabic dishes and comfort cuisine spanning Asian and European staples. You can also order in-villa barbecues, cooked and served by butlers, to enjoy in your private 'sand garden'.

Smith Insider

Dress code

Wilderness chic (beachwear by day, low-key glamour by night).

Top table

Sense on the Edge is literally the top table: set on a clifftop above the hotel, this exclusive perch commands a jaw-dropping view.

Local Guide

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Six Senses Zighy Bay – Oman – Oman
Eat, drink, see, do: local favourites and more…

Worth getting out of bed for

In this scenic and secluded spot, there's little sound other than the lapping of the waves (and even that's subdued), and at night, the only lights you'll see are low-level – candles, torches and sparkling stars among them. Even the movies are silent, with wireless headphones at the alfresco beach cinema for every recumbent viewer. But if total tranquility is not what you're used to, there's a mind-boggling array of spirit-lifting diversions from cookery to canyoning to keep you busy.


The acclaimed Six Senses Spa has two Arabic-style hammams, a holistic approach and a truly brilliant menu of locally-inspired treatments that use indigenous ingredients to pamper and soothe – frankincense, goat's milk, dates, almonds, honey, rosewater, sea salt, lime and mint… – all designed to leave you feeling as delicious as they sound.


Explore the craggy coast and its clear dark depths on a traditional dhow cruise or scuba-diving expedition; borrow snorkelling kit from the watersports centre and wade into the water just beyond your villa; play Pétanque or beach volleyball; practice yoga or Pilates, or (if you're mad-keen), sign up for boot-camp training in the hotel's alfresco 'jungle gym'.


Still not enough? Up the ante with waterskiing in adjacent bays, canyoning in rocky wadis, paragliding from the cliffs, mountain biking in the Hajar Mountains, hiking up goat paths, rock climbing or microlight flights. Further afield, Six Senses staff can also arrange desert safaris, Dubai day trips and 4x4 excursions to the ancient village and plateau of Sabatyn.

+ Enlarge
Hugged by Hajar Mountains

Six Senses Zighy Bay

Zighy Bay, Musandam Peninsula, Musandam, Oman, 813

On the rugged northern tip of the Arabian Peninsula, this remote resort is as far removed from Oman's cultural capital Muscat as it is from the ritz and glitz of Dubai, the nearest point of entry.

Planes

Take note: the closest airport is actually Dubai International (www.dubaiairport.com), a 120km drive (two hours) away in the neighbouring UAE, and not Muscat (Oman's capital), which is at least five hours' drive. Musandam's regional domestic airport Khasab is physically closer, but it's impractical to get to Zighy Bay from here.

Automobiles

Arrange a transfer, it's far less stressful if you're not familiar with the region. The drive from Muscat is arduous, and not especially scenic. From Dubai on the peninsula's west coast, you'll cross the Hajar Mountains – and the Omani border, so you'll need your passport handy (UAE residents require a pre-arranged border pass). Take the Emirates road towards Ras al Khaimah, and then turn onto the Dibba (Fujairah) road, following the E87 across the mountains and down to the east coast. At the Masafi roundabout, turn left onto the E89. At Dibba, head for the corniche road (with the sea on your right), where you'll pass border control. From the next roundabout, take the 2nd road on the right, and go straight over the next roundabout. Turn left at the next roundabout, leaving the Shell petrol station on your left. Go straight over the Sultan Qaboos Mosque roundabout. When you pass a petrol station, take the second left, following the sign for Quroon A'Sajd. Go right at the T-junction, uphill past the dam, towards Khasab. The road is unpaved from the next 5km, with the last stretch hugging the cliffsides as you approach the resort; it's not for nervous drivers and you'll need a 4WD (there's a Zighy Bay greeting point here, where you can leave your car and be driven the last few kilometres by hotel staff). There's a free onsite car park.

Other

Book a car transfer to Dibba Port from Dubai, and then hop aboard a speedboat for the final 15-minute stretch, spotting coastal fishing villages along the way; Zighy Bay has its own mini marina. If that's not ostentatious enough for you, consider flying in: you can paraglide down to the bay (strapped to an instructor) from a rocky outcrop in the surrounding mountains.

Reviews

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Six Senses Zighy Bay – Oman – Oman

Anonymous review

By Mr & Mrs Smith.

Every hotel featured is visited personally by members of our team, given the Smith seal of approval, and then anonymously reviewed. As soon as our reviewers have returned from this spectacular beach resort in Oman and unpacked their snorkels and sunhats, a full account of their luxury holiday will be with you. In the meantime, to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick postcard from Six Senses Zighy …
Read more

Six Senses Zighy Bay

By Mr & Mrs Smith.

Every hotel featured is visited personally by members of our team, given the Smith seal of approval, and then anonymously reviewed. As soon as our reviewers have returned from this spectacular beach resort in Oman and unpacked their snorkels and sunhats, a full account of their luxury holiday will be with you. In the meantime, to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick postcard from Six Senses Zighy Bay on the Musandam Peninsula…

Paraglide in, and you'll sleep-walk out: Zighy Bay takes relaxation to a whole new level. The barren, otherworldly setting of Six Senses' award-winning Oman outpost – backed by an arena of craggy cliffs on a pale crescent moon of sand – belies the riches on offer. The ethos is eco-friendly, with indulgent spa treatments focusing on indigenous ingredients, and the mouthwatering Middle Eastern cuisine created with organic produce from the kitchen gardens.

Amazingly, the resort's Omani village theming manages to sidestep the ersatz Arabian Nights trap so many luxury Middle Eastern hotels tip headlong into; instead, Zighy Bay's rough stone walls, winding sandy pathways and open-sided barasti shelters create that elusive sense of belonging in this rugged, spectacular location. (Especially tricky when 'belonging' to this particular Omani village necessitates personal wine cellars, private plunge pools and alfresco showers.)

Slip out of your beachfront villa into the languid ocean, be pampered in a goat's milk and honey bath, scale rocky cliffs and dive into deep rockpools, catch your own fish for dinner or salute sunset with canapés by a campfire… You'll want for nothing, and remember everything.

The Guestbook

Reviews of Six Senses Zighy Bay from Smith members

Whenever you book a stay through us, we’ll invite you to comment when you get back. Read the Guestbook entries below to see what real-life Mr & Mrs Smiths have said about this hotel…

BlackSmith

Stayed on

We loved

This is a very low-key, barefoot resort. I liked the lovely rooms and great food but the best bit was the service, which was amazing. A big thank you to the kitchen: nothing was too much trouble when it came to feeding our young children. Our two girls – two and almost four – had a wonderful time. The 4-year-old loved the kids club. We were there just after half term so it was not full and was relaxed and quiet.

 

Rating: 9/10 stars